Serving the Servant!

JESUS SPEAKING

            So when he had washed their feet, taken his garments, and sat down again, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you?  You call me Teacher and Lord, and you say rightly, for so I am.  If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.  For I have given you an example, that you should also do as I have done to you.  Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant isn’t greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him.  If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them” (John 13: 12-17.)

 INSPIRED THOUGHTS

            This foot washing took place at the last supper, just before Jesus was crucified.  The person who was placed at the lowest position at the table was given the duty of washing feet, yet Jesus, who was in the place of honor, did something unheard of; he stood up, girded himself with a towel, and washed the feet of his guests.  Peter, most likely in the lowest position (foot washer), refused at first to allow Christ to wash his feet, no doubt feeling that he was not worthy to have his master serve him.  After washing their feet, Jesus reaffirmed his role as teacher (moral authority) and Lord (master ruler of his servants) so they would not mistake his humble service with a lessened authority.  No true servant would ever make themselves more honorable than their master.  Jesus as master, had made a humiliating task an honorable thing, and as such, those who would not imitate this action would be elevating themselves above their Lord.  Jesus’ ministry was not a ministry of mere words, but of actions.  All of his commands were accompanied by personal example.  Knowledge without action counted for nothing, acknowledged by Jesus in verse 17, “If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.”

            I work with a man who is handicapped.  We were walking at the beach, and he happened to step in a spot of oil.  At the beach he scrubbed and scrubbed, and it wouldn’t come off.  Finally when we arrived home, we attempted to clean his foot with lighter fluid.  He scrubbed, but couldn’t get enough leverage to be effective.  The thought of touching another man’s foot with my bare hands initially repulsed me; after thinking of this scripture, I realized it was my duty and my honor to help him.  So I scrubbed until it was clean.  When I was finished, my heart was pleased because the knowledge of God’s word had come to life and was manifest in my action.  Washing a man’s feet may never have its realization in every person’s life, but this scripture becomes real whenever a person serves another human being because they love God.

            Pride is something that is detestable to the Lord; it limits a person’s usefulness to God because He has called his servants to do things the world considers, ‘unimportant, invaluable, and unworthy.’  Pride creates a hunger for money, houses, cars, boats, careers, etc., while humility allows a person to serve God without concern for selfish gain or increased social standing.  As Christians, there is no task that is ‘beneath us,’ because the way to be great in the eyes of God is to be the least in the eyes of men.  Jesus said, “You know that the rulers of the gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them.  Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant.  And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Mathew 20: 25-28.)

            How are you giving your life up today in order to serve others?  Are you making yourself lower than Jesus Christ, who served others devoid of pride and selfish concern?  Are you involved with service at your church and in your community?  Do you pray for others, love others, and seek to help others who are in need?  Do you fellowship with those the world considers ‘throw-a-ways?’  We can all serve God more by making ourselves less!  Make yourself lowly, and you will know true freedom; you will be blessed beyond anything you could have ever imagined.

            “Lord Heavenly Father, we come before You and we ask and pray that You will free us from pride, and help us to be lowly in Spirit.  Give us a heart to serve others, and to lift others up above ourselves.  Lord, we wish to follow You, and to serve You, and to give our lives for You; please give us opportunities to humble ourselves and to be an example of servant hood to those around us.  We love You Lord, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.

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